The Story of Ayala Triangle: Rebirth and Redevelopment

With Ayala scrapping its plans for Ayala Triangle at the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, development has stalled in the property for a long while. For a long while, the Ayala Triangle remained a dormant property, save for the activity going on in the existing structures as well as at the park.

At the same time, the park grew as a popular open space, especially among those who work in the Makati CBD area being one of the few open spaces available in the midst of the rapid development and the towering steel and concrete structures that have sprouted in the area, even though not much has been done in the park throughout those years.

More than a decade later since the crisis, Ayala was ready to look again into the redevelopment of Ayala Triangle once again through its property development firm Ayala Land. And it was appropriate enough that the redevelopment efforts would begin with the park.

PHASE 3: THE AYALA TRIANGLE GARDENS

As part of the redevelopment plans, the park at Ayala Triangle underwent a makeover of sorts with more landscaping, trees, and the opening of a foodstrip in the area between Nielson Tower and Makati Stock Exchange (MSE) Building. The redeveloped park was opened in 2009 with a new, official name: the Ayala Triangle Gardens.

If these developments were not enough to boost the profile of the Ayala Triangle Gardens, the park is home to the annual Christmas light and sound spectacle that has become an iconic Yuletide destination in the metropolis since 2009. For many, catching this impressive spectrum of lights dancing to timeless Christmas tunes has become a beloved annual tradition.

With these new sights and spectacles raising the profile of the Ayala Triangle Gardens and the greater Ayala Triangle area, not to mention Ayala getting aggressive again in its businesses, Ayala Land seemed poised to revisit the old plans for the area.

PHASE 4: NRESURRECTING THOSE TOWER 2 PLANS, SORT OF

In 2014, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which was located just across the Ayala Triangle, shut down its operations “for the time being,” promising though that they would be back in metropolis soon, albeit in a new location. It wouldn’t take long to find out where the planned new Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila would be located, and it would just across its old property, right within Ayala Triangle itself.

But the new Mandarin Oriental is just part of what Ayala Land has in mind for the northern tip of the triangle. Apart from the hotel, there will also be a new office tower to rise there, along with a retail podium, six-level basement parking, and civic spaces for the public. While it was not said outright, these plans served to resurrect those long-stalled Tower 2 plans Ayala had in mind for that particular area, albeit with not one but two towers to rise in that area.

the planned office tower + new Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila (courtesy of Ayala Land via Facebook)

the planned civic space at the northern tip of Ayala Triangle (courtesy of Ayala Land via Facebook)

However the plans have not gone down well with those who decry the shrinking open space in the metropolis and in the triangle in particular. With the lack of green spaces in the metropolis already a serious issue as there are there are only a few green lungs left, they stated that this development would be to the detriment of Ayala Triangle and of the remaining open green spaces in the city. Ayala Triangle countered in return that the development would actually result in more green spaces that the public would enjoy.

It is expected that this development would be completed by 2020. And it would be interesting to see how it will turn out with regards to the structures that will rise at that part of the triangle as well as the green space that Ayala Land promises to be available with this development. Till then, let’s just see how it will go and hope that it would be for the best.

TOWER 3 PLANS?

With Ayala Land resurrecting its old Tower 2 plans at the northern tip of Ayala Triangle, the only question that remains is whether they would proceed in resurrecting its old Tower 3 plans and how. As it looks right now, should such a structure rise, it would be at the area of the Makati Stock Exchange Building which would mean the structure would have to either give way or perhaps be integrated in the newer structure should the plans materialize.

At the moment though, the plans have not finalized yet, at least from what we know, as Ayala Land looking at the options for the MSE Building. As such, it will be interesting to see what they will come up to finally realize those Ayala Triangle plans if ever.

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On that note, the Urban Roamer concludes the story of Ayala Triangle here for the meantime in the midst of the transformation the area is going through. We can only hope that this would lead to better things ahead for the future of this strategic and historic area in the metropolis.

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